Monday, September 17, 2018

Julie And Mike's Visit. The Rest Of The Story.

Cheryl Runs in Prep for Family
My last post seemed a little Over-Simplified.  (Or "Truncated",  As our fellow Pearson Coworkers might say.) So I thought I would follow up with a few more pictures and paragraphs filling in the various entertaining details to the rest of the story.  (Or "More Developement"   Another Pearson Coloquialism.)   So let's get started.

First stop!
We visited with them Friday Night after work and planned out the Saturday Adventures.   They were very agreeable with Cheryl's schelduled activities.  As with previous family visitations, there was always the chance that the state of Iowa would throw a wrench into the mechanics.  So we buckled up and hoped for the best, while planning for the worst.

Busy as always.
Early Morning coffee, and we were off to the Iowa City Farmer's Market.   A Pleasant affair that was filled with vegitables, colors, baked goods and politicians begging for votes.  (Must be nearing election time.)   We grabbed a few goodies, talked with some locals, and moved on to out next item on our itinerary.    Apples!

Next stop.  Crazy Busy!
People from Michigan should simply be enchanted with the way Iowa does apples.... Right?   Well, kinda.  Let's face it,  Only Washington State can  possibly rival Michigan when it comes to Apples.  ( It is a FACT! )   So after about 15 minutes, we had showed them everything that Iowa Apples had to offer.   Fresh baked Turnovers with Cinnimon Ice Cream. ( Still Very good though!)  Wilson's Orchard was flooded with families and kids.   Lots and lots of kids.    So there was no chance to pet any kittens or find a quiet place to relax and enjoy your fresh turnover. (What else would anyone do at the apple orchard?)   So on o the next item.

Perfect Bolete!   Mushrooms!

Crab Brittlegill.   Russela

Mushrooms!   I was not planning on even reaching this part.   The weather was heating up and Mike and Jules had stated their lack of "Mushroom Appreciation."   It has also been pretty dry this
entire week, so I was expecting no huge blooms of fruiting bodies.   The best I was hoping for was a pleasant walk in the shade.
They Look like they are having a Fabulous Time!
                   Julie Shows off he Bolete.            

I was pleasantly "disappointed" when Mike began to find Russelas and Milkies all over.   Many of them in "fresh" condition. Julie found a King Bolete and A Purple "Butt Shaped" mushroom.  (We called it the "Julius Glutius"!)  We spent a couple hours finding a vast variety of mushrooms.   King Boletes!   Fresh ones!   Lots and lots of Russelas ( Brittlegills) and several unknown "Julius Glutius" mushrooms.
Check out the goodies!

Not a Purple Cort?
 These are not Corts nor are they Blewits.  Once we get the Internet back ( or Cheryl's new book arrives) we will hopefully find the true identity. (They also has a white spore print,  Definately not a Cort!) Also some red stemmed Crab Brittlegills.  Very tasty! I can't wait to eat 'em!

Cheryl Shows off her Medals.
Inside our Tiny Apartment
Having worked up an appetite and feeling hot and sticky from the hike, we decided to catch a quick bite, top off the beverages and head for home.   We stopped by the store for some last minute items while Mike and I  looked at the local beer.   Some Beer from Kelona, Big Grove, and Cedar Rapids were selected;  along with some Hard Cider from Wilson's Orchard. (We could not find it at the actual orchard.... go figure.)  Mike says he enjoys sampling the local brews and bringing some home whenever he travels.

Inside our out Tiny Aparment.
You Build It Pizza Party.
Pizza Making time!   Each of us made our own pizza, because that is how we treat our "guests" around here. They are responsible for their own tastes and flavors,  that way they can only blame themselves when they don't like it.   (Genius! if I do say so myself. )   Julie is "Gluten Free"  Meaning: fussy.    So she got the Glutten free pizza crust.  Mike and Cheryl enjoyed Flat bread.   And I got the Fresh hand-made pizza dough.   Because I'm
worth it!

Mike works on the fire.
His camping skils come in handy.
I was impressed that they sampled several varieties of mushrooms.   We did not add any of the wild ones on the pizza ( those are all MINE!  And for a later date.)   I did not want to be blamed for any mis-haps that might occur if someone got a tummy ache.   (Another Genius move by myself.)

Cheryl tries to roast Marshmallows.
After that,  we sampled the beer, Mike and I talked about camping and cars, and we went outside to build a fire and make s'mores.   After several attempts, I'm proud to say that the "men" got the fire going strong enough to get the marshmallows roasted.

She fails at the "challenge."
The Dog Stinkhorn.... For Julie
Overall, the day was a success!   At least for us.   We managed to entertain the family and not have to cancel any plans during the process. There were many other small things that I probably missed, but without pictures, there is very little point in mentioning it here and not.   

An Iowa Dust Devil.  Rare Sight!
The antique visit was brief and handly worth mentioning, but thankfully, was not the only thing that was on the table. A spectacular Dust Devil appeared on the gravel road near the Port-A-Jon Place.  It would have been nicer if the weather had been cooler, but I will take what I can get.  Especially here in Iowa, where Corn, Pigs, and Sun rule the day.   Perhaps next time they will bring their bikes and we can ride the trails.   We shall see.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Mike and "Julius' s" Visit.

Crazy Sister-In-law
Long story short:   Cheryl's Sister came to visit this weekend... and I forgot my camera for most of it.  So there is not much to show.    And with the Internet gone,  and time limited, I have not had much time to fabricate an eloquent post this week.  So I'll keep it short.   We....

Keeping  her away from Sharp Objects.

Visited the apple orchard, went mushroom hunting,  visited an antique shop,  ate pizza in the park, bought some local Iowa beer,  made a Pizza at home, Made a fire in the back yard, and ate s'mores. 

Pizza we made ourselves.   
Backyard Fire for S'Mores.  
If we ever get the Internet back I'll post a longer version...  (With all the AWESOME mushrooms we found)   So let's just say we had fun, all was well,  no body dies from poisonous mushrooms, or eating anything containing Gluten.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  I finally got my Facebook page back.  Yeah!  No more Korean Hijinks's 

Note: Of all the limited pictures I did take, I purposefully chose the worst one for Jules.   Because.... that is what Brother-In_laws do.  She normally does not look like that....  normally.    Have a great one! 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Boletius Maximus! Rain Brings Out The Stinkhorns, Puffballs, and Crazy Bike Riders.

So Much Rain!
 What a crazy, wet-filled week!  I believe it has rained here every day this week.   There has been a constant threat of flooding all around.   The rivers and fields seem to be at their max currently, with more rain predicted this weekend.  Fingers crossed that the flood stage drops a bit before more is added.
Cheryl rides anyway!

In the mean time, we have been continuing our habit to exercise a little each day after work.   A mix or running and biking has kept our minds off the fact that we have no internet at home  and life is meaningless...  Sometimes it works.

She Smiles in the face of  misery 
Sometimes, things jump in to remind you about how tough life can be.  For instance,  The Rain!  Our 15 mile ride gets cut down to ten.   Cheryl's 10 mile run gets cut down to 5.   And each time, we still manage to get wet, because it simply will not hold off untill we are finished.

Dog Stinghorn

But one cool thing about the rain is that it brings out the Mushrooms.   I seem to be the only one impressed by this.   Cheryl tolerates it ever so slightly. Last Wednesday, the Dog Stinkhorns were out!   They must have been growing while we passed them by.   I will let you use your imagination as to why it is called the Dog Stinkhorn.   See that dark slime on the underside of the cap?  Those are the spores..  sliding down in slime mode.   I'm not sure why they call it "stink"

The Spore slime smells like Mushrooms.
Spores leaking on the outside...
 It simply smells strongly of mushrooms.   I guess the smell attracts flies and they land on the spores to spred them.    I tried to capture the rich bright red/ orange/ pink color.  The mushroom does not last long,  it had disappeared the next day...  and several new ones appeared in differant areas.  I have read they are edible, but I think I will pass on this one.

Some Type of Ink Cap?

Lots of Small Puffballs.
Other mushrooms like Puffballs and Inkies bloomed out.   I gathered all the puffballs I could carry and cooked them up for dinner each night.   We even found a puffball in our own yard!   Puffballs are supposed to have all kinds of good medicinal junk in them.  Mostly against other microbes and viruses.  All that matters to me is how they taste...which is delish!
Pretty Gills. 

Let's eat the Puffs, Boletes, and Chants.

Say Hello to the Colorful Parrot Waxycap!

Lots of colors in this one.
Red gills?  No wait!  Yellow?  Orange?  Salmon?

There have been so many mushrooms popping out with the rain, but just a few more worth mentioning.   One:  The Parrot Waxy Cap!   Red, Green, Yellow... all with a translucent irridecent color shimmer.  I can only hope the camera captures some of that color.   They bruise black, so that color does not last too long after you pick it up and handle it.  Still,  what a little gem.
Gills under the Light.  Bruises black.
Small One, So many Colors!

A Chanterelle Look-a-like.
The Infamous Jack-O-Lantern.   They say they look like Chanterelles.  Given that deep rich orange color and the gills,  I think I am confident enough now to tell the difference.   By the way, these guys did not glow in the dark as promised.  I have read somewhere that certain conditions have to be met for that to happen.... apparently,  those conditions are not met in my dark little closet.
Dark orange with gills!

KING BOLETE! I feel like a king holding it.!

Looks like a Sponge?  Crazy!
Looks like bread.  "Penny Bun?"
And lastly:   The King Bolete.   THIS is why it is called the King!    It was HUGE!   Possibly over a pound and a half.  Asside from the giant puffball,  I doubt many other ground species get this big or heavy.  (Oysters and Hoof Mushrooms grow on trees.)

Cheryl holds it.  Fresh from the Baker.

Past its prime.  How sad.    

Ugg!  Looks like moldy cheese.
There were several of them that had already rotted, but this one was "fresh enough" to pick and bring home.  Only after cutting it open did we realize that it was past its prime as well.   I was so disappointed!  I have been chasing this mushroom all summer and finally they have been poping out like mad, only to have them rot before I can find them.   Having a job also complicates things since I can't go out and look for them every day.  Ah well,   the search continues.

It has taken over he entryway.

Crazy Cardinal Creeper.

The rain has also been doing a number on my plants.   The Cardinal Creeper has taken over the front and the back of the apartment complex.  The hummingbirds, I imagine, are having the time of their lives! 

The Hummers Love it!
Have to push the vines back up.
It will take over the garden soon.
There are several of them at the moment, and with all these flowers, they no longer have to fight over the feeders.  I only wish it had not taken so long for the flowers to bloom.

More Mushrooms!   Yummy.

Hope everyone is staying dry.  Tonight will be the first night in a while I have not been able to eat any mushrooms that I have found myself.

Eating "Super ( Delicious) Foods!"  Enjoy!
 Kinda disappointing.   I somehow have managed not to get bored of them yet.   I hope the trend continues because finding harvesting and eating the mushrooms you find yourself is uniquely satisfying.   Thanks for stopping in.


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